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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 2008 / 20 Kislev 5769

The scandal is what's legal

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Righteous indignation over allegations about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's "pay to play" brazenness camouflages the corruption inherent in all government. After all, what does it mean to be a politician if not that you promise favors — coerced from the taxpayers — in return for support from key constituencies?


Ted Stevens, William Jefferson and Randy "Duke" Cunningham behaved egregiously enough to be convicted, but their actions didn't cost taxpayers nearly as much as what their colleagues did supposedly acting in the "public interest."


As The New York Times reported, "$700 billion ... seemed to be an ocean of money. But after one of the biggest lobbying free-for-alls in memory, it suddenly looks like a dwindling pool. ... The Treasury Department is under siege by an army of hired guns. ...".


Sen. Charles Schumer has delivered for that army, consistently voting for every bailout. He also "helped raise more than $120 million for the Democrats' Senate campaign committee, drawing nearly four times as much money from Wall Street as the National Republican Senatorial Committee," said The Times.


What Schumer does is legal, but the billions he gives to failing companies comes from taxpayers. A formal quid pro quo between politicians and bailed-out companies is not necessary. But everyone knows that a beneficiary is more likely to contribute to a congressman who votes for a bailout. They are also more likely to hire that congressman as a lobbyist when he retires. It is disgusting. But it is legal.


H.L. Mencken was right: "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods."


The Public Choice economists remind us that contrary to what the civics textbooks imply, public "servants" have the same ambitions as the rest of us —wealth, career, influence, prestige. But there's a big difference between us and them. Politicians, bureaucrats and the people they "rescue" get money through force — taxation. Don't think taxation is force? Try not paying, and see what happens.


The rest of us must achieve our goals though voluntary exchange in the marketplace. That difference — force versus voluntary exchange — makes all the difference in the world.


In "The Road to Serfdom", F.A. Hayek titled chapter 10 "Why the Worst Get on Top," pointing out why the "unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful [than moral people] in a society tending toward totalitarianism. ... [T]he readiness to do bad things becomes a path to promotion and power."


We don't live in an authoritarian society, but Hayek's point still applies.


A system that rewards politicians skilled at campaigning — which is the art of creating an illusion — and that puts hundreds of billions of coerced taxpayer dollars at the disposal of the winners will tend to attract men and women with a comparative advantage in manipulation. We shouldn't be surprised that people like Blagojevich prosper in "public service" — until they get caught crossing the line.


At his news conference last week, Obama said, "[T]here is a tradition of public service, where people are getting in it for the right reasons and to serve, but there's also a tradition where people view politics as a business". That difference is not as sharp as he thinks. Even someone devoted to achieving the public good is ignorant of what is truly in the interest of a group of individuals as large and diverse as the population of a state or country. Lacking that knowledge — and with his political cronies and the most politically connected lobbies constantly whispering in his ear — he will presume that what is good for the best — organized interest groups — must be good for everyone. Then he will take from all of us to bail out those special interests. This will tend to be good for the politician's career.


Blagojevich allegedly assumed someone would be willing to pay dearly to be a U.S. senator. I'm sure he was right. But if government were less important in our lives, politicians would have fewer goodies to trade. In return, we'd have more money and more freedom.


That's one more reason to limit government power. Archives

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JUST OUT FROM STOSSEL
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel --- Why Everything You Know Is Wrong  

Stossel mines his 20/20 segments for often engaging challenges to conventional wisdom, presenting a series of "myths" and then deploying an investigative journalism shovel to unearth "truth." This results in snappy debunkings of alarmism, witch-hunts, satanic ritual abuse prosecutions and marketing hokum like the irradiated-foods panic, homeopathic medicine and the notion that bottled water beats tap. Stossel's libertarian convictions make him particularly fond of exposes of government waste and regulatory fiascoes. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


© 2008, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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